President Bola Tinubu has urged UN member states to show more commitment to crack down on terror financing, economic sabotage, and illicit mineral and arms smuggling in the developing world.
Addressing the 78th UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, Mr Tinubu called on member states to compel firms and nationals from their countries from participating in the pillage of Africa’s resources, leading to several civil unrests, said a statement by Ajuri Ngelale, the Nigerian president’s media adviser.
“The fourth important aspect of global trust and solidarity is to secure the continent’s mineral-rich areas from pilfering and conflict. Many such areas have become catacombs of misery and exploitation. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has suffered this for decades, in spite of the strong UN presence there. The world economy owes the DRC much but gives her very little.
“Foreign entities that are abetted by local criminals, who aspire to be petty warlords, have drafted thousands of our people into servitude to illegally mine gold and other resources. Billions of dollars meant to improve the nation now fuel countless violent enterprises. If left unchecked, they will threaten peace and place national security at grave risk,” said Mr Tinubu.
He added, “Given the extent of this injustice and the high stakes involved, many Africans are asking whether this phenomenon is by accident or by design.”
Member nations, Mr Tinubu said, must reply by working with us to deter their firms and nationals from this 21st-century pillage of the continent’s riches.
“To keep faith with the tenets of this world body and the theme of this year’s Assembly, the poverty of nations must end. The pillage of one nation’s resources by the overreach of firms and people of stronger nations must now end,” the president said.
Mr Tinubu noted that his aggressive economic development diplomatic push for new investment has been demonstrably effective in presenting Nigeria as business-ready. He added that the ease of doing business was not the major challenge to large-scale investment.